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From classic steel to innovative plastics and natural wood, your choice of material has a huge effect on how your sunglasses look, feel, and perform. Let's delve into the most popular sunglass frame materials and highlight their benefits and limitations.

1 Sunglasses frame materials | pros & cons1.1 Frame materials ranked1.2 Stainless steel frames1.3 Titanium frames1.4 Aluminium frames1.5 Alloy frames1.6 Plastic frames1.7 Tr90 frames1.8 Acetate frames1.9 Wood frames1.10 So what frame should you choose for your sunglasses?


Stainless Steel Frames

  • Highly resistant to corrosion and rust, making them long-lasting.
  • Offer robustness without the bulk, maintaining a sleek profile.
  • Hypoallergenic and ideal for sensitive skin, minimising irritation.

  • Slightly heavier than titanium or aluminium options.
  • Less flexible, which may affect comfort for some wearers.

Titanium Frames

  • Among the lightest and most durable frame materials available.
  • Corrosion-Resistant. Withstand exposure to saltwater and sweat.
  • Hypoallergenic. Perfect for those with metal allergies.

  • High-quality and performance come at a higher price.
  • Fewer colour options than other metals or plastics.

Aluminium Frames

  • Extremely light, enhancing comfort for extended wear.
  • Easily adjustable for a custom fit.
  • Offers good resistance to rust and corrosion.

  • While strong, they’re more prone to scratches and dents than stainless steel or titanium.
  • Heat retention may make them uncomfortable in very hot conditions.

Alloy Frames

  • Alloys allow for a balance of durability, weight, and cost, making quality frames more accessible.
  • Come in a wide range of designs and finishes, catering to different style preferences.

  • The blend of metals varies and so does quality and durability.
  • Some alloys contain nickel or other metals that may irritate sensitive skin.

Plastic Frames

  • Plastic frames come in a wide range of colours and shapes, providing greater freedom for unique designs.
  • Generally lighter than metal, they can be more comfortable for extended wear.
  • Plastic frames are often more affordable than their metal counterparts.

  • While some plastics are very durable, others may be prone to breaking or bending over time.
  • Certain plastics can warp or discolour in extreme heat.

TR90 Frames

  • Incredibly lightweight, making frames comfortable for all-day wear.
  • Can bend under pressure and return to their original shape, reducing the risk of breakage.
  • More impact-resistant than other plastic frames, making them suitable for active lifestyles.

  • Can be sensitive to extreme heat, potentially warping if left in hot environments for too long.
  • May not have the premium, luxurious feel that materials like acetate or metal offer.

Acetate Frames

  • Holds colour exceptionally well, offering vibrant, deep hues and patterns.
  • Acetate is skin-friendly, making it a great option for those with metal allergies.
  • More durable and flexible than standard plastic, maintaining its shape and sheen over time.

  • Can be heavier than other plastics and some metals.
  • High-quality acetate frames can be more expensive due to their superior material qualities and craftsmanship.

Wood Frames

  • Most wood frames are made of sustainable materials, appealing to eco-conscious consumers.
  • Each pair offers a unique grain pattern, making them a distinctive fashion statement.
  • Wood frames are lightweight and can be surprisingly comfortable.

  • The durability of wood frames can vary significantly based on the type of wood and construction.
  • Wood frames require more care to maintain their appearance and may not be as resistant to water and sweat as non-natural alternatives.

So what frame should you choose for your sunglasses?

Think about how the frame material will align with your lifestyle, needs, and style preferences. Whether you prioritise durability, comfort, or looks, there's a frame perfectly suited to your life and look out there.

Here is our expert recommendation:

  1. Go for stainless steel frames if you want long-lasting classic designs at affordable prices.
  2. Go for titanium frames if you want the strength and premium feel of steel at half the weight.
  3. Go for aluminum frames if want want the lightness of titanium at half the price.
  4. Go for alloy frames if you’re looking for metal frames on a budget.
  5. Go for plastic frames if you want funky designs on a budget.
  6. Go for TR90 frames if you want durable frames that can take a beating.
  7. Go for acetate frames if you want funky designs with a premium feel.
  8. Go for wood frames if you love nature.